December 5, 2023

Book Club to Discuss Wayne Karlin Novel

Book Club
Historic St. Mary’s City’s first meeting of a new community book club will discuss the novel “A Wolf by the Ears” written by Wayne Karlin. (HSMC photo by Doug Anderson)

Historic St. Mary’s City’s new community book club, “A Farthing for your Thoughts,” will meet from 2 to 3:30pm November 15. The first meeting will discuss the novel “A Wolf by the Ears” written by Wayne Karlin, who will be in attendance.

The novel’s title refers to a quote by Thomas Jefferson, “We have the wolf by the ears, and we can neither hold him, nor safely let him go.”

The novel is set during the war of 1812, when thousands of enslaved people from plantations across the Tidewater rallied to the British side, turning against an American republic that had barred them from the promises of freedom and democracy. Against the backdrop of rebellion and war, Mr. Karlin’s “A Wolf by the Ears” follows the interconnected stories of Towerhill and Sarai, two African slaves, and their master, Jacob Hallam. Educated side-by-side and inseparable as children, the three come of age as they are forced to grapple with and break free of the fraught linkage of black and white Americans and how differently each defines what it means to fight for freedom.

Mr. Karlin has published eight novels and a collection of short stories, as well as three nonfiction works.

His books have also been published in England, and in translation in Denmark, Sweden, Italy, and Vietnam. He has received five State of Maryland Individual Artist Awards in Fiction, two Fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts (1994 and 2004), the Paterson Prize in Fiction for 1999, the Vietnam Veterans of American Excellence in Arts Award in 2005, and the Juniper Prize for Fiction for 2019.

Anyone interested in joining the book club should get in touch with Iris Ford by emailing [email protected].

The Shop at Farthing’s Ordinary is at 47414 Old State House Road in St. Mary’s City.

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